Monday, February 11, 2013

Ruth Goodman died by suicide, not assisted suicide.

The Victoria Times Colonist has reported on the story of Ruth Goodman (91) who decided to die by suicide.  Goodman had her son, Dean, send her "goodbye" letter to the Globe and Mail with the hope of creating greater support for legalizing assisted suicide.

The article in the Victoria Times Colonist titled: Healthy Vancouver Senior takes own life in bid to change assisted suicide law interviews Grace Pastine, the litigation director for the BC Civil Liberties Association, the group that is steering the Carter case, the case in British Columbia that seeks to legalize assisted suicide and a limited form of euthanasia.
Grace Pastine

Pastine told the Times Colonist:
Ruth Goodman was not terminally ill or assisted in any way, the association would not have a legal position or opinion on her case.
Since Goodman was not aided, encouraged or counseled to commit suicide therefore the law has not been broken.

Goodman died on February 2, 2013; the same day that Ginette Leblanc died of natural causes. Leblanc was the litigant in the Quebec case to strike down Canada's assisted suicide act. Leblanc, who was living with ALS, died of natural causes after experiencing a stroke a few days before her death.

Gloria Taylor, the main litigant in the Carter case in British Columbia, the case that Pastine  is directing, also died of natural causes on October 5, 2012. Taylor, who was living with ALS, died from an infection.

The deaths of Ruth Goodman, Ginette Leblanc and Gloria Taylor did not require a change in the law. Each of these ladies died on their own terms, without experiencing traumatic deaths and without requiring someone else to assist their suicide or actually lethally inject them.

There is no need to legalize euthanasia or assisted suicide in Canada.

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